The peaceful transfer of power, a bedrock condition of democracy, came under assault as insurrectionists heeding President Trump’s call disrupted Congress’s affirmation of the Electoral College. The turmoil only added to an already rocky transition: President-Elect Biden’s team says that the Trump administration has interfered with its access to government agencies, a situation that could hamper the new president’s ability to manage national security, public health, and a battered economy. Meanwhile, many Republican members of Congress have refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of Biden’s win, stoking public doubts about the election’s legitimacy.
While these circumstances are unique, the nation has experienced fraught transitions before — perhaps none more so than when Southern states met Lincoln’s election with secession. A distinguished panel of historians and journalists discusses why the transition period is so crucial and what Biden can learn from history.
This event is produced in partnership with the Center for Brooklyn History at Brooklyn Public Library and New York University’s John Brademas Center.
- Jonathan Alter, Author, The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope and His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, a Life
- Hon. Donna F. Edwards, Columnist, The Washington Post; Former Congressional Representative (D-MD, 2008–2017)
- Ted Widmer, Author, Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington
- Moderator: Michael Waldman, President, Brennan Center for Justice
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